Is It the Leader or the System That Creates a Closed Society?

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
September 12, 2008
North Korea Military Parade

Rumors have swirled that North Korean leader Kim Jong-il is seriously ill. The North Koreans have denied that there are any health problems with their leader. The circumstances have made people think about what life might be like in North Korea after Kim Jong-il.

Is it the leader or the system that creates a closed society and has people accept a state without freedom?

Comments

Comments

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
September 18, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ John in Greece,

Actually our policies do have tremedous influence.

But we don't determine the perceptions of others that lead to their decision making.

Hope that offers some clarification.

Susan
|
Florida, USA
September 18, 2008

Susan in Florida writes:

@ John in Greece

It is with great interest that I read your comments and I find them thought provoking. This time, however, I do believe that Zharkov in the U.S.A. has made a valid point. Whether it was implied or directly promised we have said over the years that we (the United States) would help to remove an oppressive government if only the people of that country would make the first move. This was certainly true in Hungary, in Cuba and, unfortunately, in other countries around the world. It is irresponsible and wrong to promise what we can not or will not be able to do. Our policies do influence other countries' decisions. For good or for bad.

Susan
|
Florida, USA
September 18, 2008

Susan in Florida writes:

@ Eric in New Mexico

Thank you for your comments. It is never easy to make change come about in nations such as Iran. Thank you for your obviously sincere efforts. However, my point was that the history, culture, traditions and coerced behavior of a country determines its understanding of human rights and its understanding of "freedom" and determines what direction it goes in. I remember well the lesson of Vietnam where the Vietnamese people, homeless and starving, after years and years of war, did not care so much about "freedom" as much as they did about food, shelter, and safety for their families. Again, I will say that it is easy for us in the United States to talk about human rights and freedom, and encourage others to change and to "speak out" against tyranny, but something entirely different to live in these countries and try and make great changes.

John
|
Greece
September 18, 2008

John in Greece writes:

@ Eric in New Mexico

Sorry guys in the Blog! Again my bad English? Of course America influences and I would add inspires democratic changes all over the world! (wrong use of the word influence from me) What I was trying to say is what you exactly said Eric in far more better English: "But we don't determine the perceptions of others that lead to their decision making".

Do you know how many times I've thought to quit posting due to this kind of misunderstandings that may occur? 16000!
It's really difficult to write in a non-native language. I won't quit for now... (LOL)

Thanks for the clarification Eric. It was vital to the meaning I was attempting to give, based on your "Diplomatic-Bible" as I've named this comment of yours (Friday Sep12/Welcome section). Best regards!

@ Susan in Florida

Best regards to you too Susan and welcome to our Blog. Thank you for your good words and keep on writing. We will make it the most "exciting" Blog in the world!

Note: I think that what Eric writes above ("But we don't determine the perceptions of others that lead to their decision making".) is a point that "answers" to your view concerning Zharkov's comment.

Susan
|
Florida, USA
September 18, 2008

Susan in Florida writes:

@John in Greece

John, do not quit blogging! You have much to say and I appreciate your comments. I speak English, and I sometimes feel that I don't express my views as well as I would like to. Best regards.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
September 19, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ John in Greece, If I had a dollar for everytime I've been misunderstood, Bill Gates would look like he was poverty stricken.

And I do appreciate your confidence in my writing. It means a lot. See, in order to overcome a touch of dyslexia, I write something on the order of 5000 words daily, and stil manage to mangle the English language better than George W. Bush claims to be able to do...LOL!

It affects my spelling mostly, but what's really been affecting my spelling lately is the coffee inundated computer keyboard that keeps dropping letters.

But I pretty much knew what you meant, and your English is generally a darn sight better than mine....in any case, foreign languages are completely Greek to me...(chuckle).
-------

@ Susan in Florida,

If you really want to understand the Iranian dissident mindset, and where they derive their inspiraton from. Do what I suggested to SNP in a previous post on this thread...study the history of Cyrus the Great.

Dig it, here a fllow who in one lifetime 2500 years ago, created the Persian empire, consolodating diverse peoples and cultures in the first federal system of government, granting states and kindoms in his realm their own autonomous rights so long as they were consistant with the precepts of the first human rights document ever recorded, which he incribed on a scroll, a copy of which has been on display in the UN since its founding. This included the right to worship freely.

A man who concieved the first postal service, freed all the slaves in what is now Iraq and throughout the empire as it grew, in a virtually bloodless liberation. This is recorded in the Old Testament as many of them were Jewish. He repatriated them back to their homeland and helped rebuild their temples.

He also built the very first Suez canal.

Instituted the concept of individual property rights and ownership of buisiness. And many more institutions of democracy including a judicial system that called for fair representation for the accused.

Local representitives to the main legistlative body of the empire was through popular referendum, IE: the vote of the people.

It's like this guy had been tossed into the past from our present day. And how he achieved all this in one lifetime is one heck of a story.

Unfortunately he died before he was able to construct a lasting system of succession. And the empire was divied up among states.

If he'd achived this last bit, world history would have been completely different.

Remember, Islam only came to being in the 14th century and only arrived in Iran around the 15th.

These folks don't consider that to be their heritage, but an occupation of their ancient land.

This doesn't mean they arn't willing to coexist with Islam, they just can't put up with political Islam for another 30 years. It's dragging Iran over oblivion's cliff.

In fact I would submit that civilization itself cannot put up with political Islam as manifest in radical Shiite ideology for another year. Period.

And I think the last gasp of diplomatic effort will be a choice given to the Ayatollahs to pack their bags within 48 hours and go back to their mosques never to be politicians again, or suffer "serious concequences".

So, I submit to you Susan, that Iranian dissidents are not to be underestimated in their appreciation of human rights and the concept of freedom. They invented it long ago.

Now you may understand why I worked so hard on their behalf. It was not just to prevent a war.

Susan
|
Florida, USA
September 19, 2008

Susan in Florida writes:

@ Eric in New Mexico

Thank you for the history lesson. As you can tell I am a great believer in the building blocks of history. Hopefully, Iran will be able to return to its original history, one of human rights and national freedom. Ditto on your comment about radical Islam. Eric, I recommend that you go to the Dipnote site of the conversation with the bloggers and Under Secretary Glassman as most of the questions and comments are about Iran. It is a very interesting posting. Also, I have learned, don't drink your coffee too close to the keyboard!

JOE
|
Tennessee, USA
September 19, 2008

Joe in Tennessee writes:

I understand why you did not post my last entry.

Methodology is not general knowledge; however, it does verify I am who I am and who I was -- period. What transpired was not of my doing but of a Society I presume.

In any event, would anyone here like to identify a valid background for discussion? As the same people seem to monopolize this blog, what, in effect, are your backgrounds?

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